Taking a Few Extra Stops to Appreciate the Journey

Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

Although Doug Smart co-founded a punk rock record label during the pandemic lockdowns it was the silence of the city around him, ironically, which he will remember as the game changer. The Oshawa-raised Smart currently works part-time for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in Toronto; he did lose some other work positions he had held but took the opportunity to embrace new ventures.

“I took a GREAT deal of comfort and solace in how quiet the city had become. It was a blessing to be able to move about the city with such ease and with so much less noise. I took the opportunity to embrace relaxing without guilt and I relished and appreciated each day that I didn't have to set an alarm!”

“It taught me to slow down and relax a little more. We are always moving so fast in life that it's hard to stop and take a look around and really appreciate the journey. I'm going to make a few extra stops along the way going forward.”

“I took up so many new activities that I had no idea I would be any good at! Graphic arts and design is something that I have dabbled with when I had to, but I was able to dive head first into it and I have found it to be quite enjoyable. It comes in handy with my work at Cursed Blessings and has allowed me the privilege of designing album artwork for some amazing musicians that I have looked up to for years!”

Cursed Blessings is a start-up record label co-founded with his long-time friend Al Nolan of the Ajax band the Almighty Trigger Happy. The label has already released several bands, both digitally and on vinyl.

“With the opportunity that Cursed Blessings Records has presented me, I plan to put everything I have into continuing the success and victories that we have seen early on. I may finally get around to writing my long-talked-about solo album at some point, but who knows?”


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